(Terry Sanford) played a key role in the transformation of Southern politics into the New South, primarily in the areas of race relations and education. In recognition of his efforts in education and in countless other areas, a 1981 Harvard University survey named him one of the 10 best governors of the 20th century.
That is from the Wikipedia entry on Terry Sanford, North Carolina’s governor from 1961-1965.
Since then, North Carolina has rightly considered itself an enlightened state. It prizes its public education system.
And in this time of economic stress, when people are struggling with all sorts of financial difficulties, it is only surprising to people who don’t know the state’s history that respondents in the Elon University Poll said they support a temporary three-fourths of a cent sales tax to fund education 53% to 43%. Gov. Bev Perdue proposed the tax in January.
As further evidence of the importance North Carolinians place on education, people were asked to rate the importance of eight issues when they decide between candidates for office. In the “very important” category, education trailed only the economy, 70% to 65%. It placed ahead of issues with high visibility in the media: health care, family values and morals, taxes, crime and drugs, environment and immigration.
When asked what is the most important issue facing the state, North Carolinians rated the economy as No. 1 (53%) and education second (16%) No other single topic reached 5%.
The breakdown on the three-quarter cent tax for education:
* It is heavily supported by women (59%). Men opposed it (52%).
* As with the same-sex marriage ban, self-described liberals are stronger in their suppport of the sales tax than self-described conservatives are in their opposition.
– John Robinson